Project Tundra: Assembling the Ultimate Off Road Drop In Suspension!

Hucking Project Tundra into the rocky rutted riverbed at speed was not a problem, our new suspension actually felt plush here. A stock truck would have to crawl through this, instead, we were going as fast as there was traction, like 40-50 mph!

Right when we were dropping into the riverbed at speed. The truck would get a couple of feet of air into the rocks and ruts below and it felt smooth and totally in control.

We didn’t think there would be much to improve upon from our old suspension but wow that was not the case.  Our new suspension is greatly superior. Even when driving up a rocky rutted riverbed and jumping into and out of a ravine, we did not bottom out the front suspension at all. Bumps that we previously had to slow down a bit to maintain control were now hardly felt!

On-road the Icon 3.0 shock had a lot more low-speed damping control than the 2.5 and we had to go from six clicks from full soft on the CDC valve low-speed compression damping adjuster on our old shocks to two on the 3.0. On the bypass shock, we went from seven clicks from full soft to 4. Our ride was still a bit jiggly at low speeds on the street but past 40 mph the circuit blew off some and the ride got smooth. We feel that the huge 3″ piston has a lot of stiction and this should improve with some break-in miles as well.  Off-road the suspension rode very smoothly.  Even with the softer settings, the 3.0 shock just about eliminated body roll and when combined with the replacement of all the squishy rubber in the front end, made our truck feel light and tossable with a sharp steering response like a sports car, no kidding.  The truck still understeers some and we didn’t really try to adjust it out because if we get carried away we are afraid that the truck could high side and rollover on the street.  We don’t feel like poking the absolute limits on a high CG vehicle. However, the truck is very competent on a twisty road!

With great on and off-road handling, our fun big truck got even more fun! Bring it on Project LS Jeep.

Read about all the cool stuff we did to Project Tundra!


Dirt King Fabrication

Camburg Engineering

Coach Builders

Icon Vehicle Dynamics

Low Range Off Road


  1. Such an awesome shop truck. If I still lived in california I would love to have you work on my regular cab Taco work truck. Currently sitting pretty with a Ute flat bed, bilstein trd pro spec dampers, OME leaf pack, & lightweight scs wheels, and corbeau GTS2 seats to avoid scoliosis. Suspension is good enough but still leaves a bit to be desired

  2. I used to sell those trucks. I was always surprised how much people would pay for a used Taco, when they could get a Tundra. They were paying more for the old Tacos than the new ones. I never understood that, at all. Especially, considering the E-diff and traction modes.

    1. The tacoma was more practical and easier on the wallet for many folks. First gen tacomas have a cult following and not everyone is on the wagon with the pricier new tacomas. What’s not impressive is the gas mileage on the newer tacomas and tundras lol.

      1. That’s interesting. I never knew why people loved the old Tacos. I guess technology isn’t everything for some people. Truly disappointing about the fuel economy, though.

        The one thing that is impressive is the auto loans they have these days, which are basically mini-mortgages. I know it’s a bit of a scam, though. It gets you to buy something that you really can’t afford.

    2. I went with a Tacoma because of the size. Full-size trucks are too damn big. A Tacoma is pretty much the smallest thing you can get nowadays. If someone offered a compact truck I would have gone that way but they’re all deader than the dinosaurs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.